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Use Ubuntu Studio for better sound experience

Working with sound on Linux can be tedious. It should not. Ubuntu Studio provides performance and stability.

Benjamin Bellamy
Benjamin Bellamy

Sound management with Linux can become unstable when it gets complicated (ALSA, PulseAudio, JackAudio…). If you encounter issues, switching to Ubuntu Studio may be a good solution. But you may like your current distribution and are reluctant to change. In that case you do not need to move, let Ubuntu Studio come to you thanks to Ubuntu Studio Installer!

First, updating all packages is a good idea:
$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y

Then install the installer:
$ sudo apt-get install ubuntustudio-installer

Then run ubuntustudio-installer:

Select the components you wish to install. I recommend the following:

  • linux-latency
  • ubuntustudio-lowlatency-settings
  • ubuntustudio-performance-tweaks
  • …and Enable Backports PPA in order to get the latest (but unsupported) versions.

Et voilà! XRUN count should remain null, sound should be more stable.

For the bolder: get the latest QjackCtl

Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla” (even the Ubuntu Studio distribution with ppa) comes with QjackCtl 0.5 (which was released in december 2017) but you may want to install the latest version (0.9.0 as of december 2020).

Install QjackCtl before installing Ubuntu Studio.

QjackCtl 0.5 works perfectly but I find the graph really ugly and hard to read:
Whereas QjackCtl 0.9.0 has nice graph:

There is nothing complicated, just follow the next steps as you will have to compile it yourself.

Download and expand QjackCtl latest source code.

Install the required tools for compiling it:

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential qt5-default qttools5-dev-tools libjack-jackd2-dev

Note: the old version should be in /usr/bin/qjackctl whereas the new one will be in /usr/local/bin/qjackctl (unless you specify otherwise with ./configure [--prefix=prefix]).

Compile it:

$ cd ~/Downloads/qjackctl-0.9.0
$ ./configure --enable-jack-version
$ sudo make install

You may now run QjackCtl latest version!

Tips & Tricks

Benjamin Bellamy

Podcasts, e-commerce & open-source. Father of Castopod. CEO of Ad Aures.